I'm going to the Rockingham Writers Centre beginners writing session today to chat about how to get started, stay motivated and set goals. It got me thinking about when I decided I wanted to become a writer.
I was always a huge reader as a child. I remember my Dad taking me to the Fremantle Arts Centre one weekend. I must have been about six and I had the chance to make my own book. There was even a typewriter that I could type my story on. If memory serves me correctly my story was some kind of My Little Ponies fan-fic, but I was thrilled to come home clutching my stapled together book.
As I grew older I loved writing stories. In year five we had to regularly write stories in a journal and again my story was basically a copy of a story I had read and loved. Then in year six or seven I got to do a creative writing course and I started to have story ideas of my own and I loved it.
From year seven I wrote regularly in a diary, fulfilling my urge to write with angsty stories of my life. I only wrote fiction when it was required as an English assignment but I always loved it.
The first time I remember thinking I wanted to write a book was when I spent a year in Germany as an au-pair. It actually would have been the perfect time to write a novel as I had a lot of free time, but I had no ideas of what to write. When I returned to Australia and university I did a couple of creative writing units and finally got a great idea for a fantasy series. I started writing it and probably got halfway through it before life got in the way.
I didn't get back to my love of writing until a few years later when I was having a kind of crappy week at work and decided I didn't want to be doing that for the rest of my life. It was then I sat down and decided I really wanted to be an author. I took a week's annual leave and started writing. I haven't stopped!
It's been ten years and I've written fourteen novels. By the end of this year, seven of them will be published. It hasn't been easy, but it sure has been fun.